Prince De Beauchene: A general 10-1 chance for the Grand NationalPICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)
National clues on offer in fascinating Bobbyjo
WILLIE MULLINS and Graham Wylie are already responsible for John Smith's Grand National favourite On His Own but neither will be disheartened should Prince De Beauchene take his place at the head of the market following today's At The Races Bobbyjo Chase at Fairyhouse.
Like On His Own, Prince De Beauchene is trained by Mullins for Wylie and when asked to nail his colours to one of his seven National entries after the weights for the Aintree marathon were revealed last week, Mullins pointed to Prince De Beauchene as his most likely winner.
Assessing his chances of landing today's 3m1f Grade 2 en route to Aintree, Mullins said: "I'm hoping we have him back to the form he showed when winning this race last year. It looks a tougher contest this time but he seems in good order and the ground won't be a problem."
Whereas Prince De Beauchene missed last year's National with a late injury, Seabass finished a gallant third and this year's campaign has been geared towards going two better in April.
Trainer Ted Walsh said: "He ran well over hurdles last time and this is an ideal prep race for the National. He should run well and if he does then that will probably be it until Aintree. If we think he needs another race there will be time to find one."
The Aintree clues do not stop with the big two as all six contenders are entered for the National and all bar Rare Bob are already guaranteed a place in the 40-runner field. Quito De La Roque misses today's race due to lameness.
At Kempton Wyck Hill bids to enhance his own National claims when taking on 12 challengers in the Grade 3 Racing Plus Chase, but Newcastle's card, due to feature the Betfred Eider Chase, was abandoned on Saturday morning due to overnight snow.
As a result of Newcastle's abandonment, Channel 4 will show three races from Lingfield (1.55, 2.30 and 3.05) in addition to four at Kempton.
Race times at Chepstow have been changed to 1.45, 2.20, 2.55, 3.30, 4.05, 4.40, 5.10.
Chepstow Good to Soft, Soft in places - racing goes ahead
Fairyhouse Soft, heavy in places
Kempton Good, good to soft in places